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bowfinger

BOWFINGER (1999)

Set in current Hollywood, Bobby Bowfinger is your typical low-budget actor-producer-director who recently comes across a script he believes is a sure-fire hit. But, when no one wants to buy the script, its up to a famous producer to save Bowfinger's career, albeit under one condition: Hollywood's current "It" girl, Kit Ramsey needs to star in it. When Kit refuses, Bowfinger decides to take on the script himself. Hiring a beautiful actress from Ohio whose diva attitude is a far cry from what Bowfinger prepared himself to deal with. Throw in some complications with producing studios, and a burger-flipping goon, and you have yourself one hilarious adventure en route to a wannabe sci-fi that may star Kit without his actually even being aware of it.

The cast includes: Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy, Heather Graham, Christine Baranski, Terence Stamp, and Robert Downing Jr.

The very funny script was written by Steve Martin. Directed by Frank Oz.

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"The con is on. They're going to lie, cheat and steal - but in a nice way."


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Bowfinger is a side-splitting comedy, that has a great time poking fun at different aspects involved in making a film in the Hollywood culture; the deal making, creative financing, dealing with actors, etc. It is sort of a "Day for Night", in the low-budget movie making business. This story tells the hilarious tale of how Bobby Bowfinger (Martin), of Bowfinger studios, who is Hollywood's least successful director / independent movie maker, gets a major action star, Kit Ramsey (Murphy), to be in his "ultra low-budget film," without Ramsey's awareness that he is being filmed.

Down to his last dollars, Bowfinger doesn't let Ramsey's refusal to be in his film stop him in the least; as without Ramsey's participation, there is no money coming from the studios. Hatching an ingenious scheme, which he carries out, with the help of Ramsey's "eager and nerdy brother," Jiff (Murphy), as well as a cast and crew that also have a stake in his film being made, Bowfinger sets out with great determination to trick Kit Ramsey "into a performance of a lifetime," by filming Ramsey, without his knowledge, which has hilarious results.

The script is utterly delightful, an original comedy, one of Martin's masterpieces. Some of my favorite scenes include the filming sequences involving both of Murphy's characters, (Kit Ramsey & Jiff Ramsey). To put it clearly, Ramsey doesn't have both oars in the water; being a bit paranoid, a little crazy, and has socially unacceptable urges. Poking fun at new age religions, the script has Kit relying on his "spiritual, cosmic mentor," Minehead honcho Terry Stricter (Terence Stamp), who helps him control his unacceptable impulses, as well as calm his excitable brain. Terry has Kit recite his Happy Premises 1,2,3 etc.

Jiff (Murphy's second character), eager to be in the movies, does anything that Bowfinger can cajole him into, actions that the screen actor's guild would have kittens in the street over. Murphy is incredibly funny, as both Ramsey and Jiff.

Martin, as Robert K. Bowfinger, is sure to entertain the audience as well, as he schemes, films and directs in secret. Also amusing are his cost-cutting, very inventive methods in production; though how he does everything for his film is not exactly considered to be the approved Hollywood way, to say the least. Check out how he gets a film crew and equipment for just about nothing, and how he gets away with not using a stunt person, or having filming permits, etc.

Also, it's fascinatingly funny how Bowfinger puts together a film from secretive film footage of Kit Ramsey, & Jiff Ramsey and the other actors, which is edited into other footage, to make a film that works; a comical tribute to the craft of editing, which is an important force in the film industry. Editing can make or break a film.

Bowfinger is a delightful, clever, comical film, that most everyone will find most enjoyable. The trailer shown on the film didn't do it justice, painting it to be more sexy than it was in reality, not truly giving the audience a true vision of this marvelously funny film.

Parental Guide: Does have one & a few implied bedroom scenes, though not much is shown. There is a reaction shot of Jiff, looking at the chest of the actress off-screen. A few potty words sprinkle the dialog, mostly from Ramsey's character. Generally speaking this film is ok for older children, 12 and over. Subject matter and plot won't appeal to younger children.

The cast includes: Steve Martin (Bobby Bowfinger), Eddie Murphy (Kit and Jiff Ramsey), Heather Graham (Sexy wanna be actress), Christine Baranski (a past her prime "diva"), Terence Stamp, and Robert Downing Jr. (Studio Executive).

Produced by: Brian Grazer. Written by: Steve Martin. Directed by: Frank Oz

If you enjoyed BOWFINGER you may like THE STING, THE PRODUCERS, WAKING NED DEVINE, PAPER MOON, and DAY FOR NIGHT.